Section 1 – Art Team

Team Personnel

1 Character Artist
1 Environment Artist
1 Interface / Cutscene Artist

Section 2 – Executive Summary

2.1 High Concept

Alley Katz is a mentally challenging puzzle/racing game designed to encourage people to keep fit. Players will have to think quickly under pressure and their fitness levels will be challenged during the other parts of the race.
The game is designed for the PC and Microsoft Xbox, both of which already have large consumer bases. The plethora of peripheral devices offered by these systems offer a perfect control system for the game.

2.2 Unique Features

Alley Katz benefits from being the first cycling title that encourages users to set up a bicycle in front of their computer screen. This is left up to the user, a simple method is to raise the rear of the bike making it easy to pedal indoors. A heart monitor is connected to the user, and depending on the game situation, the player must either reduce or increase his heartbeat.
Currently, there are no titles in this niche and the game will likely receive additional attention because of this.

2.3 Visual Style

As Alley Katz is based on real world locations, the visual style should be as realistic as the engine allows.

2.4 Project Scope

As the prototype is based in Dundee, the area shown in figure 1 is the basis of our scene.

PROTOTYPE SCENE MAP OF DUNDEE

FIGURE 1 – PROTOTYPE SCENE MAP OF DUNDEE

From this, the number of distinct locations is listed below:

  • University of Abertay
  • Tay Bridge
  • Castle Street Tourist Office
  • The Phoenix Pub
  • Newsagents
  • Agacan Restaurant
  • Contemporary Arts Cinema Complex

2.5 Target Audience

The target audience for this game is extremely broad and it will appeal to casual players and computer game enthusiasts alike. It will appeal to the millions across the globe who take part in similar races. Everyone has owned a bike at some stage in their life, and our user-generated life-sized bicycle interface will no doubt seem instantly familiar.
People wishing to get fit may also be tempted by this product. The heart monitor rewards the player for increasing their heartbeats, providing a score-based exercise ‘hook’ and making for a fulfilling workout.

2.6 Delivery Platforms

The delivery platform of choice will be any PC with a minimum of 512MB RAM and a 1GHz processor.

Section 3 – Budgets

As Alley Katz is designed to be distributed on a single DVD disk, the 4.3 GB allowed should provide enough space.
In terms of minimum specifications, we can expect most users to have a PC with 512MB RAM and a 1GHz processor. Performance benchmarks should be carried out on machines of this specification during each phase, ensuring that the final polygon count is appropriate.
A number of resolution tests will be performed, and the game should be playable in both windowed and full screen mode. Our extensive studies have shown that the most common windowed resolution for PC games is 800×600 pixels, and especially thorough testing at this resolution will go some way towards ensuring the unhindered execution of the finished product for the greatest number of consumers.

Section 4 – Production Plan

4.1 Animation

The primary animation sequences will involve the character controlled by the player. Background and cutscene animations will also be considered, but are of a lower priority for our prototype.

4.2 Integration into the Game

The majority of the graphics used by Alley Katz will be created in a modelling and animation package. 3D Studio Max 9 and the open-source Blender are currently under consideration. We may have to rely on third-party plugins to export to a model format supported by the game engine that we choose. A small selection of items such as menu buttons may be created as bitmaps and later imported into the game.

Section 5 – Art Bible

5.1 Overview

The art within Alley Katz is designed with our target audience in mind. The final art style should be appealing to this target audience, but at the same time appropriate to the performance requirements of the game. After some deliberation, we decided to go with a realistic look with stylised elements.

5.1.1 Reference Material

We take visual inspiration from the Grand Theft Auto games and Crash Bandicoot (reflecting our realistic but somewhat stylised look), and from the fair city of Dundee.

5.2 Characters

The full game will include a character representing each of the programmers involved in this project.
For the prototype, we require one male and one female character.

5.2.1 Male Character -

The male character is an incredibly athletic 25 year old full time courier. Standing roughly 6ft
tall, with unkempt black hair, crystal blue eyes and full, handsome features. Dressing in casual sportswear, t-shirt and army shorts, he has a variety of piercings and tattoos.

Regular Animation:

Walk Animation (4 directions, idle)
Bicycle Animation (4 directions, idle)
Situation Specific Animations:
Entering Shops
Performing Puzzles

5.2.2 Female Character –

Standing roughly 5ft 6 Siobhan could very well be the poster child for healthy living. Years of physical activity through sport have left her with a lean and toned body. Sporting blond shoulder length hair hitched in a pony tail, and eyes of the purest jade, Siobhan is indeed a pretty young lady. Dressing athletically, Siobhan wears a vest top and hoodie, with hot pants and trainers.
Regular Animation:
Walk Animation (4 directions, idle)
Bicycle Animation (4 directions, idle)
Situation Specific Animations:
Entering Shops
Performing Puzzles

5.3 Environments

5.3.1 University of Abertay

The game begins outside the University of Abertay. A scene shows five riders as they are handed envelopes and we switch to a view of the race countdown. A girl acts as the grand marshal and throws a bra into the air. Once it hits the ground the race begins.

5.3.2 Castle Street Tourist Office – Puzzle 1

The player has to collect a leaflet, “Welcome to Dundee”.

5.3.3 The Phoenix Pub – Puzzle 2

The player has to down a shot of whiskey and collect a stamp from the bar staff.

5.3.4 Newsagents – Puzzle 3

The player has to purchase a Bournville chocolate bar. We expect this shrewd product placement to yield millions in advertising revenue.

5.3.5 Agacan Restaurant – Puzzle 4

The player has to collect a menu from the “Agacan” Restaurant at the Nethergate.

5.3.6 Dundee Contemporary Arts Centre – Puzzle 5

The player has to cycle to the Dundee Contemporary Arts cinema complex and collect 3 used ticket stubs that can be found scattered around the premises, indoors and out.

5.4 Player Bicycles

The user has choice of 7 bicycles; mountain, racer, chopper, uni-cycle, penny farthing, tandem and recumbent. The following figures illustrate them.

Chopper

FIGURE 2 – CHOPPER

Penny Farthing

FIGURE 3 – PENNY FARTHING

Racer

FIGURE 4 – RACER

Unicycle

FIGURE 5 – UNICYCLE

Tandem Bicycle

FIGURE 6 – TANDEM

Recumbent Bicycle

FIGURE 7 – RECUMBENT FIGURE

Mountain Bicycle

FIGURE 8 – MOUNTAIN BIKE

Section 6 – Asset List

6.1 Characters

6.1.1 Male Character (Animations)

  • Walk Animation (4 directions, idle, jump)
  • Bicycle Animation (4 directions, idle, jump)
  • Crash Animation

6.1.2 Female Character (Animations)

  • Walk Animation (4 directions, idle, jump)
  • Bicycle Animation (4 directions, idle, jump)
  • Crash Animation

6.2 Backgrounds

  • Buildings
  • Night time Sky
  • Day time Sky

6.3 Environmental Objects

  • Cars
  • Buses
  • Street Lights
  • Bus Stops
  • Trees
  • Street Signs
  • Trucks
  • Pedestrian crossings

6.4 User Interface

  • Title Screen x3
  • Menu item hover effect
  • Dundee map
  • Puzzle Completed Meter
  • Health Meter
  • Menu System
  • Mouse pointer graphic

6.5 Sound

6.5.1 Ambient

  • Rain
  • Wind
  • Sea

6.5.2 Music

  • Intro Scene
  • Puzzle Completed
  • Ending Scene

6.5.3 Sound Effects

  • Walking on grass
  • Walking on sand
  • Walking on the street
  • Car Engines
  • Truck Engines
  • Bus Engines
  • Opening Door of Puzzle 1
  • Opening Door of Puzzle 2
  • Opening Door of Puzzle 3
  • Opening Door of Puzzle 4
  • Opening Door of Puzzle 5
  • Map Rustle
  • Sea
  • Crash
  • Drinking shot
  • Birds chirping

Section 7 – Schedule

7.1 Week 2

Basic concept art is completed for characters and locations.

7.2 Week 4

Artists should constantly check off their work, making sure deliverables are acceptable.
Final character and environments designs should be decided upon.
Construction of characters should begin.
Dummy environment creation for the programmers to work on.
Construction of full environments begins.
Interface artist begins work on GUI concept art.

7.3 Week 6

All interface art required complete by the end of Week 6.
Art team should work closely with programmers to produce required graphics.

7.4 Week 8

Character art should be nearing a completed stage, artists will continue towards this goal.
Environment Artist should ready Environment art for collision programming.

7.5 Week 10

Character art should be near completion, the artist should work towards this end.
Likewise, environment art should be all but complete; artist should have t ready by the end of Week 10.

7.6 Week 13

All art should be completed by the end of Week 13, and much should be implemented.
Art team should work with programmers, correcting any problems/ oversights in Pre-production.

The .pdf version of this report can be found here.

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Technical Team

Technical team consists of 5 programmers, students of MSc Computer Games Technology programme at University of Abertay:

  • Gordon INGRAM (MSc CGT)
  • Gorkem PACACI (MSc CGT)
  • Kenneth ROSS (MSc CGT)
  • Rushikesh TAMBE (MSc CGT)
  • Sameer KUMAR (MSc CGT)

Support team consists of 2 manager candidates, students of BSc Games Production Management programme at University of Abertay; and a MSc Computer Arts student:

  • Euan MCLAREN (BSc GPM)
  • Alasdair CREWS (BSc GPM)
  • Andrew ROBINSON (MSc CA)

Executive Summary

Project overview

High concept

Alley Katz is a puzzle racing game designed to encourage people to keep fit while playing computer games and be mentally challenging. Players will utilise their quick thinking ability whilst under pressure and their fitness levels will be challenged during the other parts of the race.
The game is designed for the PC and all home console systems, which already has a large consumer base. The peripheral devices offered by these systems offer a perfect control system for the game.

Unique features

Alley Katz benefits from being the first cycling title that encourages users to set up a bicycle in front of their computer screen. This is left up to the user, a simple method is to raise the rear of the bike making it easy to pedal indoors. A heart monitor is connected to the user, and depending on the game situation, the player must either reduce or increase his heartbeat.
Currently, there are no titles in this niche and the game will likely receive additional attention because of this.

Genre and scope

Alley Katz is an interactive racing game which includes puzzle elements. The title is fun based and is developed with the intention of selling to individuals online. An international distributor is required to cover all shops sales.
The game will consist of 30 levels encompassing several different types of gameplay such as stunt cycling, time trials, and numerous puzzles. The game prototype will be delivered covering a single level.

Engine

A prototype of the game will be developed using the Ogre3D Engine. Ageia PhysX will be integrated offering all the physics required for such a title. The prototype will include a single level of the game – the Alley Katz race.

Delivery Platform

Delivery platform the released game is PC/DVD due to necessary space to deploy art content of the game.

Minimum System Requirements

The game will carry the following system requirements:

  • Operating systems: Windows Server 2003, XP, Vista, MacOS X
  • Main memory: 256MB RAM
  • Graphics memory: 64MB

Recommended System Requirements

As with any software, Alley Katz will benefit from any sort of processor or RAM boost above the minimum. Ideally a user will have at least 512MB RAM. Under Windows a 1GHz or faster processor will be beneficial and Macintosh users will see best performance when using a PowerPC G5 or Intel Core Duo or Core 2 Duo based machine.

Disk Budget

It is intended that Alley Katz will ship on DVD allowing a size of 4.7 GB.
If the software is to be digitally distributed, users may download episodic content or the entire version could be downloaded in a few hours with today’s broadband speeds.

Engine Evaluations

Instinct Studio (Rejected)

Description

Instinct Studio is a cross platform game development solution featuring high-performance graphics coupled with powerful game creation tools, allowing a wide variety of game genres to be developed. These tools support WYSIWYG editing within a single unified working environment, maximizing productivity by reducing iteration times. The software has been designed as a true middleware API utilizing a set of extensible frameworks.

Pros

  • Since the Instinct studio is a complete product for game development, it has supporting tools for each aspect of game development.
  • It has integrated physics engine support, audio integration support, and extensions for scriptable game content.

Cons

Since the purpose of the Instinct studio is being a complete solution for game development, it misses some points in detail. At some points, you need to do heavy work, for example when you want to control the rendering process in detail.
In such a case, you have to write a plugin, an extension to Instinct studio to perform necessary tasks. So the implementation and maintenance costs of such extension projects are discussable to be worth.

Ogre3D

Description

OGRE (Object-Oriented Graphics Rendering Engine) is a scene-oriented, flexible 3D engine written in C++ and designed to make it easier and more intuitive for developers to produce applications utilising hardware-accelerated 3D graphics. The class library abstracts all the details of using the underlying system libraries like Direct3D and OpenGL and provides an interface based on world objects and other intuitive classes.

Pros

  • Full and equal support for both OpenGL and Direct3D
  • Full support for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X platforms
  • Simple and extensible object framework, easily integrated into an existing application
  • Powerful and sophisticated material management and scripting system, allowing maintenance of materials and fallback techniques
  • Support for a wide variety of image and texture formats including PNG, TGA, DDS, TIF, GIF, JPG.
  • Full support for render-to-texture techniques and projective texturing (decals)
  • Official and community support and development of exporters from all major commercial and open source 3D modeling packages to the Ogre mesh and animation format
  • Plug in–based hierarchical scene structure interface, allowing you to use the scene graph that best suits your application (basic octree scene manager included as an example plug-in)
  • Full support for easy-to-use skyboxes, skyplanes, and skydomes
  • Unique queue-based rendering management allowing full control over the order of the rendering process
  • Sophisticated and extensible resource management and loading system with included support for file system, ZIP, and PK3 archive types

This list only touches on the capabilities incorporated into this rendering engine, but it should serve to demonstrate the breadth and depth of the power of the Ogre 3D engine.

Usability, learning curve and support

Ogre has been designed to be developer friendly, with ease-of-use, flexibility/customisation and rapid development being at the forefront of its design. Ogre has been designed primarily with hobbyist and amateur developers in mind, and therefore has a relatively straightforward user-interface; with more advanced customisation features available for more experienced developers. However, the interface still requires some training, with initial familiarisation taking roughly 3-4 hours (in the form of tutorials), and advanced features longer (through documentation).
Additionally, the engine is currently well supported, due to a very large, self-sustaining development community producing a wide range of tutorials, assets, interface templates, how-to guides, games, design challenges/contests and more.
One particular strength, is the large scale availability of source code which covers some of the more popular features.

Cons

The game engine has been in continuous development for some six years, and therefore is already very robust and feature rich.
The main strengths, as previously discussed, are drawn from the simplicity and flexibility of the SDK. But Because of the abstraction over DirectX and OpenGL features, in some cases it becomes harder to achieve a deeper contact with the graphics card, and the low-level rendering pipeline.
Another disadvantage of using Ogre3D may be that you need to use accompanying technologies to get the best rapid development efficiency out of Ogre3D. For example, OgreAL and NxOgre are Ogre-style wrappers for sound library OpenAL and physics library Aegia PhysX, respectively. If you go out of the trend and use exceptional libraries for these purposes, you have to implement the integration to Ogre yourself, which is not a rapid development model anymore.
While it has its limitations, Ogre is a robust and well supported game engine, supporting many of the features desired for Alley Katz. In particular, its flexibility and integrated development environment make it stand out as an ideal engine for developing a prototype puzzle racing game.

Development plan

Artistic content

Audio

Alley Katz’s music will be sourced from outside the Geekers development studio and will likely come from a stock music provider. The game will also include a selection of ambient sounds that are recorded by the team’s Audio Technician.
Sound effects will also be recorded in-house by the audio engineer.

Cutscenes

Cutscenes will be produced in-house and will be rendered in game. The prototype will not contain such scenes.

Development environment

As a programming language, C++ will be used because it gives the best integration performance with the Ogre3D engine.
Compiler is the MSVC 7.1, provided with Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 / Service Pack 1.

Object oriented design

Overview

Ogre3D framework, has a design trend which forms the complete library very strictly. This causes the developers and architects working on Ogre framework to have a narrow design domain.
In the design of the AlleyKatz, there are classes which follows Ogre’s design approach.

Scenes and Lifecycles

Scenes and Lifecycles

Class GeekersFrameListener

Ogre requires a subclass of Ogre::FrameListener to occupy a step in the rendering lifecycle.
GeekersFrameListener is a subclass of Ogre::FrameListener, and implements necessary functionality to perform necessary operations for rendering of a single frame.

Class GeekersGameScene

GeekersGameScene is a base class for every class which represents a game scene, or a puzzle scene in the game. It defines abstract methods, and makes use of template method design pattern to allow flexible functionality in the subclasses.
SetupScene and DestroyScene methods are called by the GeekersApplication class. When a puzzle is disclosed, Freeze method of the GameScene is called, which causes it to temprorarily pause it’s all rendering functions. The rendering gets back alive only when the Recover method is called.

Class GeekersRidingScene

Class GeekersRidingScene is a subclass of GeekersGameScene. It manages the main bike-riding scene, creation of the environment, destination points, the pedestrians walking around.
An algorithm to generate random-height buildings is implemented within the scope of RidingScene. Algorithm consists of _createCityBlock(…), _createBuilding(…), and _createCity(…) methods. These methods are all private, and they’re called by SetupScene() method.
GeekersRidingScene also contains implementation of the mini-map, on the HUD(Heads-up display). The circular birds-eye view of the game environment is updated for each frame. Positions of the objects in the environment, and the blips of destination points are continuously synchronized with the game model.

Class GeekersVehicleDestination

The purpose of GeekersVehicleDestination class is, hiding the functionality of a trigger inside a specific class. Which can be checked to fail or succeed by CheckRange() method. In each frame, GeekersRidingScene checks states of each vehicle destination, and takes action accordingly, like disclosing a puzzle.
GeekersRidingScene also considers the necessary order of visiting of the vehicle destinations. For example, if the vehicle goes to the final destination before player solves two existing puzzles, nothing happens. The player also has to visit snake puzzle first, and then the picross puzzle.

Class GeekersSnakeScene

GeekersSnakeScene is a subclass of GeekersPuzzleScene, and implements necessary functionality to create, render the snake puzzle. It is created by GeekersSceneFactory, and called for operation by one of the GeekersVehicleDestination objects in the GeekersRidingScene. The total points of the user for the snake puzzle, are collected by the GeekersApplication through the GetPoints() method of SnakeScene.

Class GeekersPicrossPuzzleScene

PicrossPuzzleScene is a subclass of GeekersPuzzleScene, and implements functionality for rendering and gameplay of the Picross puzzle. The picross puzzle templates are loaded from txt files, stored in the picross folder in within the game’s root folder. The class itself calls LoadPuzzleFromFile(…) method during the Setup process, to load the appropriate file.
PicrossGrid represents the grid, and implements game logic behind the picross puzzle. PicrossPuzzleScene calls appropriate methods of the PicrossGrid to manage gameplay.

Entities and Interaction

Entities and Interaction

Class EntityBase

EntityBase is a base class for all the entities that exists in the physics environment, and gets rendered onto the screen. It encapsulates a nxogre body object as private, and GetBody() public method can return a pointer to that object, in case.
SetupOnScene metod is a stub for subclasses to implement the initialization steps for the entity. It may consist of loading of resources, initializing variables, etc.

Class GeekersVehicle

GeekersVehicle is a subclass of EntityBase, and it represents the bike in the GeekersRidingScene. It encapsulates Aegia PhysX objects wheel, wheelset, motor and engine. It provides access to bike functionality through methods TurnLeft(), TurnRight(), StraightAhead(). Class GeekersRidingScene calls methods of this class to integrate it into the gameplay.

Class Pedestrian

Pedestrian is a subclass of EntityBase, and provides functionality for animated people wandering within the game environments.

Class GeekersPlayer

Class GeekersPlayer is not a subclass of EntityBase like Vehicle or Pedestrian, because it’s not rendered onto the screen. It is the modeling of player’s state during the game. It provides methods like IncreaseEnergy() or DecreaseEnergy(), to be called by the RidingScene when appropriate. For example, IncreaseEnergy() method is called on each frame, with a units parameter. But the DecreaseEnergy() method is called only while the ‘accelerate’ button is pressed.

Application Scope ClassApplication Scope

GeekersApplication class is the class which puts all the functionality together, and it also is the first to appear in the lifecycle.
At any time, a gamescene or a trigger in the game scope can call SetGameScene(…) method, or DisclosePuzzle(…) method of the application. When SetGameState() is called, the current game scene gets destroyed by DestroyScene() method, and the new scene’s SetupScene() method
When the DisclosePuzzle(puzzletype) method is called, application calls Freeze() method on the current game scene and calls Setup() method of the puzzle.
When the player is done with the puzzle, the interaction system calls RecoverFromPuzzle() method of the application, which causes the Puzzle to be destroyed, and the actual game scene to be recovered to its normal state.

Use

WinMain function in the Win32 application, calls GeekersApplication’s Instance method, which is a static method that returns a pointer to the only existing instance of the GeekersApplication class.
The Singleton design pattern is used at this point, because during the application’s lifetime, there’s no point to create another GeekersApplication instance. And the dependent objects like scene managers, can reach this only instance through the static method Instance(). This is a good way of accessing single-instance objects, because you don’t have to keep references to the application class in each asset in the game.

The Initialize Method

This method is called before the Go() method, to perform the necessary initialization steps for Ogre3D, Aegia PhysX, NxOgre and OgreAL. Calls private methods _initRenderWindow(), _initInputSystem() and _addResourceLocations(). It also throws appropriate exceptions of type GeekersException with messages of the exceptions happened.

The Go Method

The go method requires Initialize() method to be called before it. It simply checks if the initialization stage has passed, and triggers rendering loop of the ogre system.

Puzzle Activation Sequences

Activation of a puzzle

In the figure below, you can see how the disclosure of the puzzles are handled by the game model. GameScene calls DisclosePuzzle of the Application when it’s triggered. And Application calls SetupPuzzle method of the puzzle object, and Freeze() method of the GameScene. From this moment on, OgreRoot just recognizes the puzzle as a FrameListener.

Activation of Puzzle Overview

Deactivation of a Puzzle

In the figure below, you can see the process of deactivation of a puzzle. Since the Ogre is calling FrameStarted method of the puzzle, it can decide when to end its existance. When it calls RecoverFromPuzzle() method of the application, application first collects points from the existing puzzle. After it ensures it’s done with the puzzle, it calls Destroy method of the puzzle. Then it calls Recover() method of the GameScene, which will set it into Ogre rendering loop again, with appropriate framelisteners.

Recover From Puzzle Function

Quality Assurance

Version Control

Subversion (SVN) version control system is used for version control. The features of subversion are:

  • Keeps a history of each document (source code or content)
  • Lets the members of the team work on the same source files at the same moment, merging their work together.
  • Prevents data loss by managing conflicts.
  • Reachable over internet.

The Subversion service will be sued from assembla.com, a collective web project host for software projects.

Coding Conventions

For clarity, the following standards will apply:

  • All variables must be clearly labelled with descriptive names.
  • Private data members have an underscore ( _ ) at the beginning of their names.
  • Pointers have a “p” char at the beginning of their names
  • Public methods of the classes starts with a capital letter, continues with lover case, and gets a capital letter at the beginning of each separate word. Acronyms have all their letters capitalized. Example: SetupScene SetupOnScene DisplayHUD
  • Namespaces are named like public methods of classes. They begin with a capital letter, and have a capital letter at the beginning of each separate word.
  • A general understanding of the benefits of whitespace and indentation will be expected of all programmers.

Test Methodology

Feature Tests

Feature tests will be performed on the game, by guest players. They’ll be provided with the initial game design requirements and they’ll be expected to write down which features are fulfilled.

Unit Tests

Unit tests will be written for extended classes in the framework. Tests will be run by the Team System version of Microsoft Visual Studio.
Unit tests provide a stable flow of code integration, and regression tests are automatically performed by this method.

The complete report can be found here.

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Section 1 – Game Overview

1.1 High Concept

In a twist on traditional street racing games, players take the role of a courier, participating in illegal underground races. Competing with other couriers, using modified bicycles, players’ race through many locations throughout Dundee before completing various puzzles. The game is also designed to encourage people to keep fit while playing computer games and be mentally challenging. Players will utilise their quick thinking ability whilst under pressure and their fitness levels will be challenged during the other parts of the race.
The game is designed for the PC and all home console systems, which already have a large consumer base. The peripheral devices offered by these systems offer a perfect control system for the game.

Alley Katz Poster

FIGURE 1 –ALLEY KATZ POSTER

1.2 Unique Features

Alley Katz benefits from being the first cycling title that encourages users to set up a bicycle in front of their computer screen. This is left up to the user; a simple method is to raise the rear of the bike making it easy to pedal indoors. A heart monitor is connected to the user, and depending on the game situation, the player must either reduce or increase his heartbeat.
The use of standard cycles as the vehicles of choice in the game is unusual. The variety of designs that the standard bike has had over the years allows for a large choice of unique vehicle for the players to choose from. Examples include tandem, recumbent, choppers and unicycles.
Combining the racing and puzzle genres is uncommon providing a unique experience for the player.

1.3 Common Questions

1.3.1 Reasons For Creating This Game

Currently, there are no titles in this niche. The entire team involved share a passion for racing and puzzle games and making this type of game fulfils one of our ambitions.

1.3.2 Game Location

The game will take place in a stylized recreation of large cities worldwide, utilising both real and fictional locations. Examples include Dublin, New York, Edinburgh, London, Tokyo, Barcelona, Paris and Amsterdam. For the purposes of this document, Dundee shall be the main location.

Section 2 – Feature Set

2.1 General Features

Huge world
3D graphics
32-bit colour
Large selection of bicycles
Large selection of characters
Rigid Body Physics
Audio

2.2 Multiplayer Features

Up to 8 players online per game
Easy to find a game
Easy to find your pal in huge world
Can chat over voice link

2.3 Gameplay

Heart Monitor – to determine players heart rate
Checkpoints

Various puzzles – locations are randomised
Avoid oncoming traffic and pedestrians on pavements

Section 3 – The Game World

3.1 Overview

The game takes place in a particular city. The main character is a bicycle courier, and will mainly be required to race between different checkpoints. Depending on the level, he has to complete certain tasks or puzzles. Following the completion of the task, the players will then race to the next checkpoint and so on until the route is completed.

3.1.1 Puzzles

As mentioned above, the puzzle elements take place in-between racing sectors. The puzzle elements may simply be a case of talking to an NPC to collect a specific item or taking part in a more complex puzzle.
These puzzles will all use distinct control schemes and interfaces but will maintain consistency with each other in terms of their mechanics.

3.1.2 Scoring

The game will use a tiered scoring system which is dependent on the time it takes the players to complete puzzles and how long it takes them to race between separate checkpoints. Each level will have its unique objective, and scoring will depend on this.
The heart monitor will also be utilised. To gain extra speed, the user must increase his heartbeats. In the puzzles, in order to reduce the speed of clock, players must reduce their heartbeats.

3.2 Camera

The player has a choice of 1st or 3rd person views. The height of the 3rd person view can be adjusted.
When entering buildings or completing puzzles, the camera will automatically switch to a 1st person view.

1st Person View

FIGURE 2 – 1ST PERSON VIEW ON BICYCLE

Section 4 – Game Entities

4.1 Game Characters

4.1.1 Male Character -

Andre, the male character is an incredibly athletic 25 year old full time courier. Standing roughly 6ft tall, with unkempt black hair, crystal blue eyes and full, handsome features. Dressing in casual sportswear, t-shirt and army shorts, he has a variety of piercings and tattoos.

4.1.2 Female Character –

Standing roughly 5ft 6 Siobhan could very well be the poster child for healthy living. Years of physical activity through sport have left her with a lean and toned body. Sporting blond shoulder length hair hitched in a pony tail, and eyes of the purest jade, Siobhan is indeed a pretty young lady. Dressing athletically, Siobhan wears a vest top and hoodie, with hot pants and trainers.

4.1.3 Pedestrians

Various pedestrians walk the streets.

4.1.4 Traffic

This consists of trucks, motorbikes, cars and buses.

4.1.5 Animals

Cats and dogs can be found roaming the streets whilst birds patrol the skies.

4.2 Bicycles

The user has choice of 7 bicycles; mountain, racer, chopper, uni-cycle, penny farthing, tandem and recumbent. The following figures illustrate them.

Chopper

FIGURE 3 – CHOPPER

Penny Farthing

FIGURE 4 – PENNY FARTHING


Racer

FIGURE 5 – RACER

Unicycle

FIGURE 6 – UNICYCLE

Tandem Bicycle

FIGURE 7 – TANDEM BICYCLE

Recumbent Bicycle

FIGURE 8 – RECUMBENT

Mountain Bicycle

FIGURE 9 – MOUNTAIN BIKE

Section 5 – User Interface

5.1 Graphical User Interface

GUI Menu FlowFIGURE 10 – MENU FLOW DIAGRAM

5.2 In-Game HUD

A: This represents the players stamina and it pulsates depending on the number of heartbeats.
B: This shows the other courier positions in the race. The ticks represent the number of puzzles completed.
C: This shows the players position in the world. Other markers are used to display the target location.

In Game HUDFIGURE 11 – IN-GAME HUD

Section 6 – Sound

The OpenAL library is incorporated into the engine to handle all of the sounds required. OgreAL is the wrapper which allows this integration. The game utilises 3 types of sound. The player is given a choice from 12 tracks.

  • Ambient
  • Sound Effects
  • Music

6.1 OpenAL Library and OgreAL Wrapper

OpenAL models audio sources from the perspective of the listener. Buffers contain the audio data, sources represent the position of the sound and the listener object represents the position of where the sounds are heard from.

6.2 Ambient Sounds

Ambient sounds add atmosphere to the environment. Depending on the weather conditions or the location, certain sounds are added to the background.

  • Rain
  • Wind
  • Sea
  • Environment

6.3 Sound Effects

All collisions will trigger and most interactions will trigger a sound. Refer to Appendix I for the entire list of sound effects.

6.4 Music

All out-game scenes will have accompanying music. The player has a choice of 12 tracks. Refer to Appendix I for the entire list of music.

Section 7 – Single-Player Game

7.1 Story

If the single player game is selected, the player begins his life as a courier. A love interest is also introduced, who must be impressed in order to win her heart.

7.1.1 Level 1

The game begins with a race against other couriers through the streets of Dundee. It is the end of the players first day at work, and all the employees have decided to have a race. The main objective is to be the first to finish. Secondary objective is to collect food which will be strewn all over the course, food such as bananas and chocolate bars which will enable the courier to cycle faster.

7.1.2 Level 2

Main objective is to collect 3 parcels from 3 places within a time limit. The player will have to find locations on the map provided then cycle quickly in order to collect. If the courier arrives late parcel will blow and kill the courier.

7.1.3 Level 3

Whilst delivering a package inside the building the courier comes out to find his bike has just been stolen. He catches a glimpse of the thief up the road. Main objective catch the thief cycling on a stolen bike. In order to catch him he/she must rob a bike quickly to give chase.

7.1.4 Level 4

Complete the stunt course doing special moves and tricks. Complete the course without breaking any bone. If the courier pulls a muscle he will slow temporarily for 10 seconds.

7.1.5 Level 5 – King of the Alley Katz

Just like the underground courier races in Dundee, the aim is to complete tasks in the quickest possible time.
Task 1: The player has to collect a leaflet, “Welcome to Dundee”.
Task 2: The player has to down a shot of whiskey and collect a stamp from the bar staff.
Task 3: The player has to purchase a Bournville chocolate bar.
Task 4: The player has to collect a menu from the “Agacan” Restaurant at the Nethergate.
Task 5: The player has to cycle to the Dundee Contemporary Arts cinema complex and collect 3 used ticket stubs that can be found inside and out.
When the courier completes all the tasks he must make it back to the University of Abertay. First back wins and is crowned King of the Alley Katz!

Section 8 – Multi-Player Game

8.1 Overview

The multiplayer game is similar to the single player, other players take the part of other couriers.

8.2 CO – OP

Another option is for the player to choose a tandem bike, and both players use the same bike at the same time.

8.3 Split – Screen or LAN

Players can choose to play against one another in a split screen mode or through a LAN.

8.4 Online

Similar to LAN, players can play against multiple opponents, however this time it can be across the globe.

The .pdf version of this report can be found here.

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